by - July 17, 2017

I tried another tangzhong recipe a couple of years ago and it did not turn out as soft as this recipe. This time it turned out just perfect; very soft and moist. I adapted this recipe from Christine’s Recipes. Though I made a small modification in the preparation process.

It is advisable to read the below general notes before starting baking.


For kneading, please regard the timing provided as an indication only. It is only meant as a guide.  Timing may differ depending on the brand of flour and electric mixer used. The protein content may vary from one brand of flour to another.

Some have experienced the dough breaking during the second proofing.  If that happens it is due to over kneading.  Please stop the machine and check your dough during the final cycle of kneading to ensure that you don't over knead. Every machine is different and there is always a chance of over-kneading when using a machine. You may need to adjust this timing and stop as soon as you reach the window pane stage.

The right flour plays a very important role in bread making.  Usually bread flour content around 11.5 - 13.5% protein, while high gluten flour is around 13.5 - 14.5%.  All purpose flour content less protein around 9 - 11%.  To achieve fluffy, soft and light bread, I used Japan High Gluten Flour in most of my bread baking.  Sources from here and here.

The liquid measurement given is also a guide.  It is advisable to always reserve some liquid and not add it all in one go.  This would give you the opportunity to adjust if necessary. If dough is too dry, add the reserve liquid one tablespoon at a time until the right consistency.  This is because each flour absorbs water and hydrates differently. 

Please note that the proofing timing may also vary depending on your climate and environment. The humidity and temperature at your place will influence how dough rises.  
If you are unable to judge by just looking at the dough, you can do the finger poke test:
  1. First Proofing:
    • Lightly flour or oil your finger or knuckle, gently poke in the centre of the dough then remove your finger.  If it bounces back immediately without any indentation then it needs more time.
    • If the indentation stays and it doesn’t bounce back or if the dough collapses, then the it is over proved.  
    • If it bounces back just a little, then the dough is ready to be punched down and shaping.
  2. Second Proofing:
    • Lightly press the side of the proved dough with your finger.  If it bounces back immediately without any indentation, it means the dough is under proved and needs more time before baking.
    • If the indentation stays and it doesn’t bounce back, it means it has been over proved.
    • If the indentation slowly bounces back and leave a small indentation, it is ready to bake. 
    • There will be a final burst of rising once the bread is placed to bake in the oven and it is called oven spring. 
If your bread collapses or gets wrinkled on top after removing from oven, it could be because your dough over proved during the second proofing. Please proof your dough until it just reaches or is slightly below the rim of the pan.

Do also note that the baking temperature and timing provided are what works for my oven and should also be regarded as a guide only. Every oven behaves a little differently, so please adjust accordingly for your oven.

If you have any questions regarding this recipe or any other post, please leave me a comment in the “LEAVE A COMMENT” link and I will reply you as soon as possible.

Recipe - Hokkaido Milk Loaf (Tangzhong Method)

Makes 6 small loaves


540 gm bread flour
86 gm caster sugar
8 gm salt (1 tsp)
9 gm full cream milk power (1 tbsp)
11 gm instant dried yeast (3 tsp)
86 gm whisked egg (2 eggs and keep balance for brushing)
59 gm whipping cream or thickened cream (I used thickened cream in this recipe)
54 gm milk
184 gm tangzhong
49 gm unsalted butter, melted

Utensil:  2 square baking pans (22.5 cm X 12.5 cm)

  1. Add all ingredients (except butter) into the bowl of stand mixer, first the wet ingredients (milk, cream, egg, tangzhong), then followed by the dry ingredients (salt, sugar, milk powder, bread flour, yeast). When all ingredients come together, pour in the melted butter, continue kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic. It takes around 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. Then let the dough complete the 1st round of proofing, about 40 minutes, best temperature for proofing is 28C, humidity 75%, until double in size.
  3. Transfer the dough to a clean floured surface. Divide dough into 4 equal portions and shape into balls. Place dough in 2 pans lining with non-stick baking sheet. Let it rise for another 45-60 mins or until dough is double in size.
  4. Brush whisked egg on surface.
  5. Bake in a pre-heated 180C (356F) oven for 30 to 35 minutes, until turns brown. Remove from the oven and transfer onto a wire rack. Let cool completely.



50gm/ 1/3 cup bread flour
250ml/ 1cup water (could be replaced by milk, or 50/50 water and milk)

  1. Combine flour and water in a small sauce pan with a hand whisk.  Cook over medium-low heat, stirring consistently with a whisk or spatula to prevent burning and sticking.
  2. Cook until mixture becomes thicker and lines appear when stirring.  
  3. Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl to let it cool.
  4. The tangzhong can be used once it cools down to room temperature. Just measure out the amount you need. The leftover tangzhong can be stored in fridge up to a few days as long as it doesn't turn grey. 

Hokkaido Milk Loaf - Revised Recipe as 28 Feb 2020

It has been a while, I think almost 4 years I did not bake Hokkaido Milk Loaf.  I have adjusted the recipe to suit my loaf pan size of 20 X 10 X 10 cm.



25g bread flour (I used Japanese high gluten flour)
125g water

Main Dough:
340g bread flour (I used Japanese high gluten flour)
1 1/2 tsp instant yeast
40g brown sugar
1 tsp sea salt
45g egg, whisked (1 big size egg.  Keep balance for egg wash)
40g whipping cream
30g butter, room temperature
45g full cream milk

Egg Wash:
Balance of whisked egg from the above + 1 tsp milk and 1 tsp water 

Loaf pan  (20 X 10 X 10 cm) or (8" X 4" X 4")



Please refer to the above post.

  1. Put all ingredients together with tangzhong dough (except butter) into the bowl of stand mixer. Using the dough hook, knead for 5 minutes (Chef Kenwood mixer, speed 2.5) until the dough comes together.  Add in butter and continue kneading for another 10 minutes until the dough comes together, become elastic, tacky but not sticky and past window pane stage.
  2. Let the dough rise in a warm place for 60 minutes or until double in size in a large greased bowl, covered with cling film or kitchen towel.
  3. Punch down the dough to release the air. Transfer the dough to a clean floured surface then divide into 2 equal portions. 
  4. Form each portion to a ball.  Flatten with rolling pin into a dish.  
  5. Fold right to centre and fold left overlap it. Roll out with rolling pin into long rectangle shape. Roll up the dough like Swiss Roll until a small log is formed.
  6. Place all dough in the prepared loaf pan.  Let it rise for another 45 - 60 minutes or until double in size.
  7. 15 minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 190C.
  8. Bake at preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until golden brown.
  9. Remove bread from oven and let them cool on rack completely before slicing.

You May Also Like


  1. I've made this a bunch of times, perfect every time. Thought I should comment and let you know it's great :D

    1. Hi Cherly,
      Thank you for dropping by and trying this recipe. I am so glad to hear that you like it.

  2. Luciana Zimmermam7 June 2019 at 10:29

    essa receita é a mais querida da minha casa. Ademais, é muito versátil, dá para fazer formato de hamburguer, bisnaguinha tudo o que quisermos. Eu amo. Gratidão !

    1. Thank you.. Sorry for very late response as I did not understand and just managed to translate.

  3. Hi, I would like to send you a photo of the Hokkaido bread. It's so beautiful. But i have a question. I find that the crust and crumb is dry and tough. I wondered if it's not the butter. In the recipe is written 'melted butter' and i wonder the butter should not be only 'soft'. Thank you for shearing your recipes and your blog is wonderful. I learned a lot with baking this bread. Cheers

    1. Hi there,
      Thank you for trying this recipe and comments. Actually, it is not my recipe. I also adapted from another blogger.
      Hmm, very weird. It not supposed to be dried if you use tangzhong method. I tried melted butter and soft butter before. I found there is no different on the result and produced soft bread.
      Could it be your oven is too hot and over baked the bread? Just wonder.

      Cheers :)

  4. Thank you for your reply. I'll try out the recipe once again and keep you informed. But in any case my mother for who i baked the bread was very happy to eat it. :)

    1. Please keep me posted :)

      If you like soft bread, you may like Shokupan Bread too.

      Cheers :)

  5. If Idon't want to use whipping cream, could I substitute it? with full cream milk?

    1. Hi, thank you for your question. Yes, it should be fine.
      Cheers :)

  6. I adapted your recipe to use a levain instead of yeast. O.M.G. ... the oven spring was amazing; the crust was so crispy and delicate. But the bread texture was incredibly soft and fluffy. My daughter said it was like eating bread clouds 🥰. The flavour was rich with a wonderful tartness. I’ve always been afraid to make Japanese style sweet bread, but now this bread will become a new family favourite! Thank you so much for your wonderful recipes ☺️. I’ve also enjoyed making your wholemeal soft sourdough bread and oatmeal soft sourdough bread.

    1. Hi, thank you for trying my bread recipes and your feedback.
      May I know which Hokkaido Bread recipe you tried? First or the revised recipe on 28 Feb 2020? And how many gram of levain you added. I would like to try using levain too. hehehe..
      I am so happy to hear that you like it.
      Cheers :)

  7. I used the latest recipe for a 600g loaf tin. The levain is 50% of the total weight. I modified it as follows:

    For the tangzhon:
    25g flour
    77g water.

    For the levain (310 g total):
    44g starter
    133g flour
    45g full fat milk
    40g heavy cream
    38g water

    I scald the milk and cream let cool until warm and then add to the flour, water, and starter. I let ferment overnight.

    Then I follow your recipe the same as yours, put all ingredients together until dough forms, then add the butter.

    I also let the dough proof in the oven with the light on as it creates a nice ambient temp around 27-30C. My dough nearly doubles in about an hour. Then after shaping and proofing in the loaf tin, it’s nearly tripled in height in about 2.5 hrs. I have a really strong and active starter >^_~<.

    Hope it works out for you as well as it did for me. I wish I could show you pictures!

    1. Hi, thank you for sharing your revised recipe. So, the balance of 185g bread flour and 45g eggs add in when kneading and then butter? Interesting, I will bake your recipe one day. Cheers :)

  8. Hello Can I use caster sugar instead of brown sugar?

    1. Hi, thank you for asking. Yes, of course.

      Cheers :)

  9. Hi
    Can I ask the reason for the dough tearing at the top during the second proofing time?

    1. Sure.. Please read the General Notes on Over Kneading.
      Some have experienced the dough breaking during the second proofing. If that happens it is due to over kneading. Please stop the machine and check your dough during the final cycle of kneading to ensure that you don't over knead. Every machine is different and there is always a chance of over-kneading when using a machine. You may need to adjust this timing and stop as soon as you reach the window pane stage.

      Cheers :)

  10. Dear Yeanley,
    I would like to bake the bread using yudane method. Can I know use the same 25g of flour with 25g of water & the rest of the ingredients remains the same? Thank you

  11. Hi,
    I would like to change the tangzhong to yudane. Can I use 25g of flour with 25g of water & the rest of the ingredients remains the same?

    Thank you very much

    1. Hi Vivian,

      I am referring to 2nd recipe. Please use 20% of total flour for yudane dough. 73g of flour + 73g of boiling water.

      You can see my Japanese Soft White bread recipe if you prefer Yudane method.

      Cheers :)

  12. Hi
    It looks great!!
    I want to make the recipe. Is it possible to add garlic and butter when you roll the dough?

    1. Hi, thanks for reading this recipe. Yes, I guess you can. It should be fine.

      Cheers :)

  13. Can i change the brown sugar with caster one, i have tried to bake with brown sugar before but sadly i dont like the taste of it

    1. Hi, thanks for trying. Yes, of course you can. You can use any sugar that you like.

      Cheers :)

  14. What is the best substitute for milk powder? Thank you!

    1. Hi, thanks for reading this post. You can omit the milk powder. You may want to try the revised recipe as 28 Feb 2020.

      Cheers :)